By: Kazeem Biriowo
A poultry farmer identified as @BashorunGa_ (Farm Greedy) on Tuesday decried the high cost of maize in the country, a factor he said could seriously affect the poultry sector.
He said since the recent ban on maize importation into the nation, cost of the commodity has significantly increased.
The farmer also lamented on the high import rate of drugs and vaccines meant for the sector, despite years-long existence of the Nigeria Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Jos and the annual budgetary allocations.
“We still import 90 per cent of the micro and macronutrients, drugs and vaccines. We relied on China and Europe for all critical inputs in the sector. The NVRI Vom, Jos has no input, no major vaccine breakthrough since inception.No data to help farmers except the diagnostic labs,” he said.
“We can not continue to import every single input in the sector and belief this will get better. Why should we import poultry drugs, vaccines and micronutrients as a nation?”
“The lack of local content in the poultry sector is costing us much. This is where the major players hide”. He complained.
A Thread From My sleepless Nigth…
Recently, I was on top of the roof warning d poultry farmers about d imminent scarcity of Maize and other inputs dt is about to hit the sector and how the major sector players keeps exploiting farmers by selling crazy DOC price. pic.twitter.com/rqa47xOKcs
— FarmGreedy™ (@BashorunGa_) July 21, 2020
He expressed dissatisfaction over the current happening in the poultry sector as it might take a bad turn on the future of the country.
His words: “Poultry investment is highly capital intensive when it fails it could lead to High BP or death. Many investors have vowed not to come back and it’s painful.
“I usually don’t complain about happenings in the poultry world because I have developed a thick skin to happenings like this over 10 years of practices. But what about the prospective investors and the newbies? I hate it when farms are closing down or making zero profit.” He reiterated.
He pointed out that poultry business in the country is a multi-billion Naira investment and the ban on the importation of poultry product by the previous administration and the present have speedily grown the sector but it is not being regulated.
According to him, the sector also lacks reliable data that could be used to make business decisions.
“The recent Maize scarcity can only be blamed on the government. Do we even have data to know how many metric tons of maize the Nigeria livestock farmers consume per annum?
“Where is our strategic grain reserve? What is the government effort to mechanize farming? Our seed quality?” He enquired.
He grieved further that the adverse effect of the ban would impact the farmers due to lack of incentive, regulation, subsidy and research development.
“Nigerian farmers, mostly poultry farmers are left naked in the cold by the government. No incentives, no subsidy, no regulations, no research and development, no insurance policy and plans. Don’t tell me what the private sector should do when the government failed with templates.”
He, however, advised the government need to do more by investing in the local content development plan for the sector as they need to look inward.
“I used to use the NVRI Lasota (ND) and Gomboro (IB) vaccines years back because I believe it’s tropicalized.”
“But the vaccine will sometimes disappear from the vet shelf. Am not even sure they are producing anymore. We need local innovations to reduce our production cost.”
“It’s only by so doing the cost of producing eggs and broiler meat will be reduced.
“Things can not continue to recycle like this yearly and we keep pretending nothing is happening. Right now, farmers now relied on Maize from Niger, Benin, Togo and Cameroon.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic is also not helping matters. Majority of d Maize farmers are hindered, input prices on flight, massive scarcity of fertilizers.
“2021 looks gloomy for poultry farmers. Am not a prophet of doom but all indications pointed South. We need to be prepared”. He said.
Early July 2020, the Federal Government through Central Bank of Nigeria announced the ban on the importation of maize to Nigeria.
The directive issued in a statement reads in part thus: “As part of efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria to increase local production, stimulate a rapid economic recovery, safeguard rural livelihoods, and increase jobs which were lost as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, authorised dealers are hereby directed to discontinue the processing of Forms M for the importation of Maize/Corn with immediate effect.